The Government of Cantabria has presented 30,000 euro worth of new equipment, including motorbikes, to the environmental protection squad of the Guardia Civil, SEPRONA, the Servicio de Protección de la Naturaleza. The aim of the investment is to optimise the functions of the group, especially in carrying out surveillance duties.
They have received two new motorbikes, cameras, “intervention” backpacks, nine microchip readers, forest fire detection equipment, torches, pocket knives and more.
The Minister of the Environment, Javier Fernández, presided over a ceremony to hand over the equipment to the head of the Command, Juan Airas.
Fernández noted that “every euro invested in this body is a tremendously profitable socially euro” and alluded to the “long history” of collaboration between the two institutions.
SEPRONA in Cantabria operate nine patrols with 35 officers dedicated to environmental protection. Last year, the team carried out 3,284 environmental actions, of which 3,261 were derived in administrative offenses and the rest processed as criminal acts.
The majority of administrative offences, 1,167 of the total, were related to fishing, 700 were in connection with waste and landfill, 243 offences against animal health and disease, and 165 offences were related to domestic pets.
Although a Royal Decree of 1876 ensured the policing of rural and environmental activities in Spain, it was in 1988 that the specialist arm of SEPRONA was created, with a constitutional mandate to guarantee the right of citizens to enjoy the environment with a suitable response and the duty to preserve it.
SEPRONA assume the responsibility for the protection of soil, water and atmosphere, animal health and conservation of flora and fauna. The Service also fights waste and environmental pollution, illegal trade in protected species, hunting, and fishing irregularities, protection of natural spaces, prevention, research and fire fighting.